Introduction to Romans
Origin of the Church at Rome
We have no specific information in the Scriptures about
the time or circumstances of the origin of the church in Rome. Obviously,
the church began as a result of people hearing, believing, and obeying
the gospel of Christ. Just when and where this happened we are not informed.
Author and Writer
A distinction is made between the author and writer because the author, in the sense of its source, is Deity. Deity used Paul, the apostle, as the writer. The book is a revelation from God unto man through the inspired apostle.
To ask why the book was written may
be like asking God why He has done what He has done. We may not fully comprehend
all of God's purposes. However, the study of the book reveals some very
obvious purposes intended. Paul had heard of his Roman brethren, and he
longed to visit them. Possibly he knew some of them personally through
previous contacts, or by reputation among the brethren. But the letter
was written in preparation for what Paul expected to be an eventual visit
by him to that city, and a visit he wanted to be mutually beneficial.
Chapter fifteen, verses twenty-five through twenty-seven indicates that Paul was on his way to Jerusalem to deliver certain offerings that had been made by Gentile Christians in Macedonia and Achaia (Greece) for the poor saints in Judea. This corresponds to the last part of Paul's third missionary journey. Paul planned to go directly from Achaia to Syria, but because the Jews were lying in wait for him, he went back through Macedonia (Acts 20:3). No specific city is mentioned where this letter was penned. However, we learn in Acts 20:2 that he had gone into Greece, and remained there for three months before beginning his trip to Jerusalem via Macedonia. Therefore, it is not unlikely that he was in the city of Corinth, and the epistle was penned during his three month stay there.
As already noted, Paul was likely in
the last portion of his third missionary journey, possibly during the three
month wait in Greece. As for the year, we must calculate and speculate.